Birder's Guide

MAY 2014

Birder's Guide is the American Birding Association's newest publication. Each issue focuses on a key subject, providing tips from experienced birders on a wide variety of topics like Travel, Listing & Taxonomy, Gear, and Conservation & Community.

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31 May 2014 | Birder's Guide to Conservation & Community Another fne example of BSC's stewardship work is the Nova Scotia Piping Plover Conservation Pro- gram. We coordinate and engage Piping Plover "guardians" on more than two dozen of the province's beaches in conserving beach habitat and perform- ing public outreach to help recover the region's popula- tion of this endangered shorebird. Since 2006, the number of breeding Piping Plover pairs in Nova Scotia has increased 30%, and motorized vehicle use on beach- es in the southwestern part of the province has declined by almost 60%. BSC has its origins in Long Point Bird Observatory (LPBO), which was founded in 1960. We evolved from a world-class bird observatory into a national organiza- tion coordinating bird conservation ini- tiatives across Canada and internation- ally. When BSC was formally launched in 1998, LPBO was reinvented as a core BSC program that primarily operates re- search, education, and training programs at Long Point. LPBO is the oldest bird observatory in the Western Hemisphere. Today, its fagship Migration Monitoring Program houses one of the world's largest datasets on migratory birds, with a whopping total of 927,224 birds of 272 species banded to date. It's also an important training center undergoing signifcant declines, including Common and Pacifc loons; Horned, Red- necked, and Western grebes; and Dunlins. In addition to research initiatives and citizen science programs, we are increas- ingly becoming involved in Species at Risk Stewardship Projects. Through the Southern Ontario Forest Birds at Risk Project, we have been monitoring the dis- tribution, abundance, and productivity of species such as Louisiana Waterthrush, Prothonotary and Cerulean warblers, and Acadian Flycatcher. We also work closely with local landowners to help educate them about the at-risk species nesting on their properties, and to encourage best management practices. com/BSC-MMP>). Volun- teer surveyors have been monitoring marsh birds in Québec since 2004, in the Prairies since 2008, and in the Maritime prov- inces since 2012. National and Regional Programs The Canadian Lakes Loon Survey was launched in On- tario in 1981 and has been a national survey since 1992. More than 3,000 participants have moni- tored loons on more than 4,500 lakes. Par- ticipants determine numbers of territorial pairs and of offspring that adults raise to in- dependence. Results show consistent links between lake acidity, mercury exposure, and low numbers of offspring. To learn more, see our 32-year report, published in 2013 . In collaboration with countless partners and thousands of volunteers, BSC is docu- menting the distribution and abundance of Canada's birds through provincial or re- gional Breeding Bird Atlas projects across the country. Atlases provide frameworks for monitoring long-term changes in bio- diversity across large geographic areas, which can in turn be related to changes in climate, habitat, and land use. The value of these large-scale monitoring initiatives is immense, and the atlassers' dedication is inspiring. For example, the nearly 1,000 registered volunteers for the Manitoba Breeding Bird Atlas have logged more than 30,000 survey hours and have conducted more than 28,000 point counts in the frst four years of the project. On Canada's west coast, our researchers and volunteers have been monitoring in- ternationally important waterbird winter- ing areas for the past 15 years. The British Columbia Coastal Waterbird Survey as- sesses variations and long-term trends in population size and distribution, providing insight into the effects of natural and hu- man-induced change. Observations from more than 19,000 individual surveys since 1999 enable us to generate reliable popu- lation trends for 57 waterbird species. A recent analysis revealed that 35 species are The eastern rufa subspecies of Red Knot has declined by 70% in the past 25 years, prompting an endangered designation in Canada. Photo © Mark Peck Left: Bird Studies Canada released its 32-year re- port on the Canadian Lakes Loon Survey in 2013. Right: The frst-ever State of Canada's Birds re- port, released in 2012, highlights several changes in Canadian bird populations since 1970. 4-Canada2.indd 31 5/22/14 7:51 PM

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